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Project Drawdown - How To Tackle Climate Change For Dummies

Project Drawdown - How To Tackle Climate Change For Dummies

According to environmental psychologists (yes – there are now psychologists specialising in environmentalism!), many people are now experiencing a latent form of climate related anxiety or dread. People may not be talking about, but they are definitely feeling it. It’s important to remember that inaction often isn’t about a lack of concern or care but rather much more complex. Westerners are living in a society that is deeply entrenched in the practices we now know are damaging and destructive on many levels. This creates a cognitive dissonance. Unless we know how to work with this dissonance, we will continue to come up against resistance, inaction and reactivity. Basically, people feel helpless, so they don’t do anything and just try to ignore it because our brains struggle to find a solution for this complex problem.

However, it’s important to know – there are solutions out there! Enter, Project Drawdown. Project Drawdown completely reframes the narrative around climate change. It sets it up as an exciting opportunity for change in our economies and societies. It outlines clear solutions, highlighting their impact on reducing carbon while also analysing their cost-benefits. The project clearly articulates what we need to do to begin healing our planet. First, we must dramatically lower greenhouse gas emissions, and secondly, we must sequester or draw down the excess carbon that’s already in our atmosphere by storing it in plants and soil. Project Drawdown has created a map, measure and model of the top 100 solutions to reverse climate change. The project was six years in the making, involved 200 experts from 22 countries, and every solution had to already exist and be scalable! Even without the threat of climate change, we would still want to implement 98 of the 100 solutions because of the cascading benefits to communities, children and women, animals, soil, food, air, water and jobs. Apparently it is already being discussed in some very high places (thank goodness!).

See below Project Drawdown’s Top 15 solutions:

  1. Refrigerant Management – Phasing out all hydrofluorocarbons in air conditioners and fridges as these can warm the atmosphere at a rate 1000-9000 times faster than carbon dioxide. These HFCs are already being phased out via an international agreement.
  2. Wind Turbines – Install more wind turbines – the Dutch have been onto this one for years!
  3. Food Waste – Reduce resource waste and the amount of food that reaches landfill by planning meals, storing food correctly, and reusing scraps and leftovers
  4. Plant Rich Diet – Eat less red meat. If you do eat meat, where it comes from is very important!
  5. Tropical Forests – Preserve and restore tropical forests around the world to store carbon and protect the teeming life within them
  6. Education for girls – This leads to empowered women, who make their own choices around bearing children
  7. Family planning – Empower women to choose when – or if – they have children
  8. Solar farms – Invest in large-scale solar power
  9. Silvopasture – Integrate trees with pasture or forage crops to raise livestock, and close feedlots!
  10. Rooftop solar – Power your own house or your community
  11. Regenerative agriculture – Farm in ways that retain carbon or return it to the soil, while giving us healthy food and retaining water – if you’re ever in Byron Bay – visit ‘the Farm’ they do a great job in this space
  12. Temperate forests – Protect and expand these terrific carbon sinks – and homes to wonderful biodiversity
  13. Peatlands – preserve all boggy, soup-like ground, as it holds huge amounts of carbon
  14. Tropical staple trees – Eat more foods from perennial trees, such as avocados and nuts – as long as no forests are cleared to grow them.
  15. Afforestation – Create forests where there were none before

Photo by Nicholas Doherty on Unsplash